Edge, Food

Temple tackles vegan

Vegan food doesn’t have a great reputation.  It’s thought of as medicinal, pretentious, and unclean.

Temple, the new eatery at Sunset Place, seeks to change that.  While by no means perfect, and falling into many of the classic pitfalls of veganism, Temple is an interesting experiment I was happy to experience.

The interior of Temple is decorated in warm woods and the open kitchen space makes you feel right at home as you enter. A  large bowl offering tastes of all of their cold pressed juices is a must-see. The “You Clean Up Nicely” blend, a mix of pineapple, apple, ginger, and aloe, was refreshing with a kick, and had me feeling perky for an hour after.

Less enticing, however, was the “You’re Cool as a Cucumber” blend.  The kale and fennel base overpowers any flavor of cucumber, and there is an after-taste that is peculiar and musty. Infused waters are refreshing, but not special in the same way some of the juices and nut milks are.

The salads are adequate, although it should be noted how fresh they taste, and how nice and light the dressings are. Entrees, such as hot pots, are well spiced, if a tad on the small side. Also notable are the nice snacks: carrots and house-made hummus and edamame with a house-made temari.

But the restaurant, for all its benefits, has one massive Achille’s heel.  The prices, for what is offered, and portion sizes, are absurd.  Beyond that, the menu does not list prices, and they must be requested.

Smoothies can run over $10, and even simple cucumber water costs $3.50.  It’s hard to take the restaurant’s message of accessible veganism seriously when the prices are so prohibitively expensive.

Other faults are some of the overwhelming pretensions of the menu, such as strange, Luddite sketches informing us such platitudes as “Blueberries Don’t Blog” and “Asparagus is Offline.”  I would be lying, however, to state that the corny puns on the menu didn’t make me chuckle, like, for example, “Me, Myself, and Chai.”  Temple’s hours are also strange, closing by 6 p.m. most days.

Although flawed, Temple is good for a quick lunch for the health-conscious diner or a post-workout snack.  It fills the much needed niche of vegetarian cuisine in the immediate vicinity of campus, and is a welcome addition to the dining scene.

Temple is located at 5831 Sunset Drive, South Miami, 33143.

September 17, 2014

Reporters

Blake Weil


3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Temple tackles vegan”

  1. premed says:

    I think the prblem with the vegan reputation is a lack of understanding of its nutritional purpose. In a country plagued by heart disease, following a vegan diet has been the only proven dietary means of reversing the harm the high-fat american diet has done to individuals that suffer from this illness. Books like and documentaries like “Forks Over Knives” explain the widely unknown purpose of veganism. While following such a diet is difficult given our societal standards, I truely believe we must promote and demand more vegan options. Plant based diets would solve our country’s obesity crisis.

  2. Michelle says:

    To yogachick,
    Vegan food does still have a very bad reputation. This generalization is the most accurate portrayal of people’s main opinion on veganism. I have vegetarian, kosher, and strictly gluten free (because of health reasons), and peanut allergy diet restriction friends. All of those options are logical and I respect them. However, I have already questioned everyone of these friends and their opinion is similar to mine: why in the world would someone be vegan, are you insane!

  3. yogachick says:

    I’m confused by your opening statement that vegan food has a bad reputation, saying it’s thought of as being “medicinal”. If a food has healing properties, to me that is highly positive so why would you say that gives vegan food a bad reputation? Then you say vegan food is “pretentious and unclean”. According to who? I disagree with your incorrect generalization. On the contrary, vegan food is thought of as being highly “clean” not “unclean”. In fact, a recent study by a food industry group found that the word “vegan” now has positive associations surrounding it, in that people now think of vegan food as being high quality food. This is why major food companies and restaurants are now jumping at the chance to use the word “vegan” on their labels and menus, so please don’t make a blanket false statement like vegan food has a bad reputation, when that is very misleading.

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